Today, I am exhausted beyond belief. My legs are stiff, my feet are more sore than they have ever been, and my back feels like it is compressed, pressing down on my lower back and my hips. It’s quite an effect from the waist-down, I think I’ve hobbled many times today. I woke up already feeling stiff and sore… and then I went to Park Guell.
Getting up to Park Guell is a serious hike. I don’t care that there are escalators (five sets if I remember correctly) to help you. The first hill felt like there should have been climbing rope to assist everyone. I’m the kind of person who thinks, Oh my god, I am definitely going to collapse, my legs are going to fold under me and my back is going to give out… And then I pick up my pace, so I don’t collapse until I get to where I’m going.
My iPhone says that today I took 22,742 steps. That’s 11.45 miles.
Wait, did you get that? Eleven-and-three-quarters miles.
When I got back to my apartment I took the best nap ever, which included a very exciting dream where I walked. Yes, I dreamt that I was walking.
Since I couldn’t handle going out to dinner, I found a place with take away, and fabulously enough you can take away beer too. You can drink from an open container here on the street, just walking around—I had no idea that was ok. In the U.S., the land of freedom, there are a lot of rules, and being here just seems to show me how unnecessary our rules are.
In the U.S. we’re constantly telling people what not to do. Don’t walk here, don’t smoke there, don’t smoke at all, don’t drink publicly… why can’t we relax? RELAX USA! It would be good for everyone. I have taken public transportation all over Barcelona and I have yet to see a drunk stumbling around, or someone really dirty, or someone begging for money—I haven’t even encountered anyone who smelled bad. I haven’t seen one strung out drug addict. I don’t see homeless people. No man has approached me in an obnoxious and entitled way. No one is in a huge rush. Not one person has pushed past me, or bumped into me.
The Metro here is quite nice, despite the temperature at the platform probably being 120 degrees. It feels like the NYC subway, but cleaner, not smelly, and not as many aspiring musicians (today a man was singing, City of New Orleans—I didn’t know that was the title of the song, and if you don’t know either, here are the lyrics from the chorus: Good morning America, how are ya?). People don’t walk 100 miles an hour to get to their next platform. No one is a snail, but they walk at a proper human pace.
Good morning America, CALM DOWN! Everything is such a fuss. Everything is such a rush. Relax and enjoy a properly proportioned meal for once. I notice that when you take the time to enjoy something, you don’t have this constant feeling that you need more. You’re satisfied. You don’t need a Venti latte, because if you sat down and took 20 minutes to enjoy a normal-size coffee you’d feel much more satisfied. Sit and sip the coffee and don’t do anything else. The same goes for eating. Eat, and just focus on the food. This is turning into Diana’s points on meditation, but hell, there is something to mindfulness! Mindfulness leaves you happy and satisfied. Think of it like stamina, or better yet, learn to savor.
So tonight I stayed in my apartment, with my take away meal and my beer. I love being out in the city, but I needed time to really be on my own. I needed time to recharge from my trip. I kept feeling like something was missing, and then I realized I needed some music. I needed a Diana dance party, the kind where I’m wearing mismatched PJ shorts and my old bar tour tank top, my face is greasy and sweaty, my hair is up in a bumpy knot, and I completely forget that my legs feel brittle and my back is about to crack. A Diana dance party where I just put on crazy music and jump around, or pretend like I’m good at rumba, and then start to mouth the words to the song, and then build up the courage to sing out loud anyway. The kind of dance party where I end up on the floor still dancing from the waist up, and then start to wind down and fall deep into peaceful thought.
Wherever you go, there you are.